I recently heard from a woman who had been shedding large amounts of hair for a few months. After researching phrases like “causes of shedding hair,” and “losing huge amounts hair,” she suspected that she had telogen effluvium or TE because she was suddenly shedding very high levels of hair and this definitely was not normal for her. To be sure though, she asked me how many hairs people with TE lose each day. I will discuss this more in the following article.
The Amount Of Hair Lost Each Day With Telogen Effluvium TE Varies, But It Usually Averages Out To Be Well Over 100: I suspect that most people reading this article have also read that it’s normal to lose up to 100 hairs per day. And sometimes, I’ll have people tell me that one day they shed 250 hairs, but the next day they only shed 30 so they are not sure if they could have TE. It’s my belief that it’s really the average that counts. Because there are many factors that go into how many strands that you will lose each day including washing your hair, brushing, health or trigger issues, and styling your hair.
Most people shed less hair on the days that they don’t shampoo. (In my opinion, this doesn’t mean that you should wash your hair less when you have TE. Doing so could allow inflammation, debris, and clogging that only makes matters worse.)
I’ve heard about and have seen a wide range of estimates of daily shedding from people with TE. I’ve heard numbers that range from 150 to 250 to well over 400 hairs. I sometimes have readers who ask me how people know the exact number of hairs that they are shedding. The truth is, people who are shedding hair will sometimes count the strands. I know it seems silly to folks who haven’t had to go through this. But, when you are going through it, you will sometimes want to know exactly what you are dealing with so you will count.
I know of people who use little zip lock bags for the hair that comes out in the comb, in the shower, and on the floor. People will often brush over a white sink so they can see exactly what has shed out. Although I’m describing this method, I absolutely do not recommend it because I know from experience that it can become a repetitive behavior that only seems to make things worse.
You will likely feel a huge amount of stress when you are counting hairs and this stress could then make the shedding worse. Not only that, but there’s nothing you can do about the hairs that have already come out. That is in the past. So, why count and let it ruin the rest of your day so that you do nothing but focus on your hair and feel badly? Honestly, once you count a few times, you will generally be able to eyeball what is coming out and know if it’s a good or a bad day without needing to know specific numbers. I think this guestimating method is preferable for both your mental health and the time that it takes for each method.
With Telogen Effluvium Or TE, The Regrowth Counts As Much As The Amount Of Hair Lost: Here’s the thing. Most people in this situation only focus on the numbers that are lost each day. And, I do understand this. When you are losing so much hair, you worry about what you are going to look like next week or next month. But with TE, regrowth really is the key. If you are growing back what is lost, then although you may be losing volume and your hair may not look like you want it to, you at least should not be seeing bald spots or scalp.
Regrowth is one thing that differentiates TE from other conditions like androgenic alopecia (AGA.) Because with AGA, regrowth is often compromised so that you’re not totally able to replace the texture and the quality of the hair that has been lost. So sometimes, not only are you shedding, you are also thinning because the regrowth is miniaturized. But with true TE, miniaturization should not come into play. So, if you can stop whatever is the trigger that is causing the shedding while encouraging the regrowth, you should hopefully not need to focus on the numbers so much (at least eventually,) although I know first hand that this is easier said than done.